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EmPOWered Women (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2005)

…Female empowerment is becoming a big star on the silver screen of late. The images of women in need of protection are passé... the message of the new millennium is, “You go girl!”

In America and Overseas, Girls Yearn for a “Nip/Tuck” (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2005)

…A recent survey conducted by a fashion magazine in Scotland asked young girls of that country what they would do to make themselves look more attractive. The surprising results showed nice clothes and the latest hairstyles are being replaced by something far more permanent: Plastic surgery.

Garry Marshall Defends Family Movies (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2004)

…When Raising Helen released, I felt it would likely rank as one of the best family films of 2004. As the months have passed, I still hold firm to that opinion.

Classroom Matinees (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2004)

…As a child, whenever I complained about being bored my mother would tell me to, “Go read a good book.” While studies show many children and teens still follow such sound advice, watching television and movies are still far more popular choices for recreational activities.

I’ll Have A PG-13 Please… Extra Violence, Hold the Sex (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2004)

…When you watch as many movies as I do, you begin to see patterns developing—not only in types of movies made, but also how they are fine-tuned to fit into a particular classification. This is especially true of the popular PG-13 slot.

Good and Bad Video Games: The Divide Widens (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2004)

…Have you ever heard of seriousgames.org? No, this isn’t an Internet hangout for hard-core gamers that fit the stereotypical image. Instead, this is an initiative project founded at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC.

Can Celebrity Problems Affect Your Family? (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2004)

…It’s not easy living in a fishbowl, especially when you’ve been swimming in the public eye since you were born. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have literally grown up on our television screens. But perhaps the most important role they have unwittingly assumed during their glamorous careers is that of virtual…

Signing Away Your Kids (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2004)

…Imagine sending your child over to a stranger’s house for two hours. While there, you have a guarantee she will not be physically abused in any way, but the unknown adult with may say or do anything he wants, such as: take his clothes off, have sex with other partners,…

The Best Shot for Hollywood (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2004)

…You know you’re getting somewhere when a newspaper writer on the other side of the continent takes his best shot at your cause.

Former Teacher Brings Real Lives to Video Games (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2004)

…Many parents have bemoaned the time their children spend playing video games. However, there is light at the end of the screen with some of the latest recreational software, which actually have the ability to entertain, as well as <gasp!> teach valuable information to keyboarding kids.

The After School TV Blue (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2004)

…Chances are your children come home from school feeling like they’ve run the 100-meter sprint. Exhausted from a hard day over the books, they want some “R ‘n R” time, and the most likely place they’ll choose to recline is in front of the television.

The Faithful Are Still Easy Pickings in Media (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2004)

…My kids love blonde jokes. And for the most part, I put up with it. But I don’t know that I’m making the best decision. No matter how innocent it may seem, teaching children it’s permissible to make fun of any identifiable group of people, is potentially dangerous.

Is it Real or Reel? (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2004)

…The media has always loved a good hoax. Take a look at this classic segment from 1957 when the serious British news program titled Panorama presented a two-and-a-half minute story covering the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. The clip shows workers carefully lifting the noodles from the branches of spaghetti…

Television Contributes to Attention Deficit Problems. Are We Surprised? (The Big Picture, Last Update Apr 2004)

…Its been a while since I’ve sat down for a hearty feast of Saturday morning entertainment, and if it wasn’t for a seminar I was asked to present to a large group of teachers, I don’t know that I would have ever gotten around to meeting some of these top…

Selling our Children &ndash; Product Placements (The Big Picture, Last Update Apr 2004)

…E.T. – The Extraterrestrial was memorable for many reasons. But for the marketing industry, the film changed media forever.

A Porn Hero? In a Teen Comedy? Look Out For “The Girl Next Door” (The Big Picture, Last Update Apr 2004)

…When hardened artistic film critics begin calling down studios for poor moral decisions, it’s time to stop and listen.

Selling Our Children: Thinking Outside of the Box (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2004)

…The cold cereal flows with sophisticated 3D animated effects, while the announcer proclaims the multi-colored shapes to be “a part of this good breakfast.” The quick flash of the oversized bowl filled with the star product, sitting prominently in the center of the shot, will likely distract even the sharpest…

Getting Fat on Television (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2004)

…San Francisco Bay Area parents don’t want soft drink vending machines in their schools. Nor do they like the idea of having advertisements promoting food and beverages to their children in their educational environments. They are also likely to have their kids involved in organized sports on an annual basis.

Deciding If Your Children Should See The Passion of the Christ (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2004)

…Countless times I’ve attended film screenings of movies I wouldn’t choose to see for myself, let alone my children. Yet just as often, after finding my seat, the empty chair beside me will be occupied by a child—accompanied by an adult whom I assume is their father or…

Reading Up on Teen Culture—YM and Seventeen (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…Now that we’re up to date with a couple of the teen magazines aimed at the youngest adolescent audiences, it’s time to look at the two kingpins of this genre: YM and Seventeen.

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…My last column covered magazines aimed at teen audiences and discussed some of the general themes I found within the covers of four popular teen magazines.    This week we’re looking deep inside two of those magazines that market to the youngest teens—and likely even preadolescents.

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…Teen magazines have been around since the dark ages predating my teen years. You should be able to get a rough grasp on my age if I tell you that the faces of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, and Leif Garrett were usually plastered on the front pages during my adolescence.

Teen Pregnancy Is Down, But Is Morality Up? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…A December 23, 2003 New York Times headline declaring “More Teenagers Say No To Sex” is certainly good news, as is the accompanying article explaining how teen births have dropped to historic lows—as much as 40% over the past decade in the case of African-American youth.

Media Literacy &ndash; Who&rsquo;s Really Laughing? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…We all have weaknesses, right? As a proponent of family media, there are times when I know I’m wading in muddy waters—especially with my friends Fred and Barney.

Media Literacy &ndash; Spinning the Facts (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2003)

…You may have noticed an article in your newspaper or news story on television over the past week touting a study suggesting teens can learn important sexual education lessons from popular entertainment television shows like (keep an open mind)… Friends.

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